Family Happenings Personal Thoughts

Addiction – Coming Home

Almost one year ago, I wrote a post titled “Addiction” about losing my father-in-law, Stoney, to drugs and to prison.

After eleven months, he was released.  It’s a bittersweet feeling.  I try to talk my heart out of having hope, as terrible as that sounds.  I don’t want to be let down again.  I, I, I.  I know it’s not about me.

He sat on the couch and I handed him a stack of 200 photos- only about 5 months worth of what he missed. I watched as he went through each photo, asking questions.  He had no idea we went to the beach, he asked about the photos of Bella playing in the sand.

She was three months old when he went away.  She has no idea who he is now.

Bryson, on the other hand, was over 2 and loved his “Pop Doney” as he called him.  I’ve talked to him a lot about Pop Stoney lately, trying to get a feel for what he remembered.  He’s three now and can clearly pronouce the “S” so Pop “Doney” is no more- he’s Pop Stoney now.

Or possibly even Pawpaw.  That’s what Bryson is calling him today.

Stoney lived with us for about a year and his car has been here since he went to prison.  Bryson would talk about “Stoney’s car” but I wasn’t sure how he would react to seeing him again. Wasn’t sure if he would remember who he was..

I’m still not sure that Bryson fully understands who he is, but that doesn’t matter right now.  My little boy took right up with his Pop Stoney like he had never left- maybe more than he did before.  He just wants someone to play Legos with and Pop Stoney is that person today.

And that’s okay.  It’s the beauty of being a child- the innocence and forgiveness of being a 3 year old.

Something I wish I had a little more of…

Something I hope Bryson holds onto for as long as possible.

So for today, I’ll just be happy to have my father-in-law back.  I’ll push the worry and dread of “what-if” aside and tonight, I’ll hand it all over to God.

If the past 8 years of watching Stoney throw it all away for methamphetamine have taught me anything- it’s that we can’t control other people.

All we can do is love him, support him, and hope that this time is different…

Lord, please let this time be different.






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  • Whitney,
    You are absolutely correct that we can not change any one else. As a Mother, we try to protect our children from all the hurt we possibly can and it is very hard for us to accept it when we know the chance of them getting hurt is so high. Please don’t feel guilty for your feelings; I feel they are justified. I hope Stoney realizes what his addiction cost him and realizes it is his, and only his, choice to remain sober and clean and enjoy his grandchildren, children, and entire family. It is very loving of you to give him a chance to connect with both children. Chances are Bryson remembers what he has heard said, which I am sure were good memories. Now, maybe, he will have a chance to make some real memories with Papaw. Best of luck. Will be thinking of you.

  • It’s hard to let go of the past when it’s left your world spinning. I’ve experienced it myself and that forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world to find within yourself. It’s going to be hard, but I know you can find the strength you need to get through this.

  • This is really lovely. Forgiveness is a hard thing but very important. No matter what happens, it’s wonderful that your little one is making new memories with his grandfather. May it all be well 🙂

  • […] and this is still one of my favorite photos.  My father-in-law was released from prison and I prayed that this time would be different.  (It hasn’t been, just in case you were wondering.)  Justin’s brother & sister […] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to